Barclays enables payments via Siri

Customers of Barclays can now make payments with their voice, using Apple’s virtual assistant, Siri.

Integration between the Barclays Mobile Banking app and Siri means that customers won’t need to open the app to pay existing payees or mobile contacts – they can simply ask Siri, saying, for example, “Hey Siri, pay John £15 with Barclays.”

Payments are then authenticated by the user with Apple’s TouchID fingerprint recognition.

Announcing the new service, Barclays said it will enable customers to send money virtually hands free, and will make secure banking easier, faster and simpler for all customers, including those with additional needs.

People are increasingly turning to digital apps to make peer-to-peer (P2P) payments, according to recent research.

A U.S. Bank survey found that 25% of consumers have used a P2P payment app in the past six months, and almost half prefer the use of digital apps to make payments: 47% of respondents said they prefer to make payments using digital means, while cash came in slightly lower, at 45%.

“The incredible consumer response to digital and mobile banking solutions is changing the entire industry and diminishing the historic use of cash” commented Gareth Gaston, Executive Vice President of Omnichannel at U.S. Bank. “ATM withdrawals and branch visits are slowly declining, while mobile transactions are increasing dramatically year over year.”

According to Business Insider, the launch of secure and instant payments will accelerate the shift to digital payments.

BI Intelligence estimates that the total volume of P2P mobile payments will grow nine-fold over the next five years, reaching $336bn (£260bn) by 2021.

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